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What are TCP Wrappers? How do they work?

Network security expert, Puneet Mehta, explains TCP Wrappers and how they work in this Ask the Expert.

What are TCP Wrappers? How do they work?
Controlling access to network services is one of the most important security tasks, and TCP Wrappers are what work out this access control by restricting services that can be used. TCP Wrapper is a daemon that is run instead of inetd. It intercepts requests and either allows inetd to run and service the request or does not run inetd, thereby denying the request. Using this method makes it possible to provide logging support, return messages to connections, permit a daemon to only accept internal connections, etc. TCP Wrapper can be used in conjunction with a firewall or other security enhancement, and it can serve nicely as an extra layer of protection for the system.
This was first published in August 2007

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